It’s widely acknowledged that the American diet is much higher in simple sugars and starchy vegetables than is healthy. This is despite the fact that we’re pounded with media messages about how we “should” eat — and many of us do try to eat a healthy diet.
But it’s never easy or quick to change our eating habits, and many of our food patterns go back to childhood. Sometimes we need a hard wake-up call to push us over the threshold. Though I wouldn’t wish insulin resistance on anyone!!, that can be the wake-up call some of us need.
Insulin resistance, in a nutshell, is when your muscles, liver and fat cells lose the ability to respond to normal amounts of insulin, and can’t use blood glucose for energy. Your hard-working pancreas tries to compensate by pumping out yet more insulin. So over time, your blood sugar levels go up. This drives systemic inflammation, and puts you at ever greater risk of heart disease and stroke.
Here are the 8 signs that you may be insulin resistant:
1. A waistline measurement over 40″ for men, or 35″ for women
2. Blood pressure readings of 130/80 or higher
3. A fasting glucose reading over 100 mg/dL
4. A fasting triglyceride level over 150 mg/dL
5. Fasting insulin greater than 6
6. HDL cholesterol under 40 mg/dL in men, or 50 mg/dL in women
7. Skin tags
8. Patches of dark, velvety skin called acanthosis nigricans
What to do, if you have some or all of these signs? Here’s a 7 point checklist that will get you back on the road to stable blood sugar:
1. Change your diet. A Mediterranean-style diet with lots of non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats and clean protein is ideal.
2. Make sure you are getting enough sleep!
3. Start exercising, and work your way up to a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) program. Low intensity cardio is a good place to start, but HIIT has more benefits.
4. Reduce stress: meditation and breath training is ideal.
5. Make sure you have adequate Vitamin D.
6. Check your magnesium levels.
7. High quality berberine and other supplementation can be very helpful in managing blood sugar.
Even if you merely suspect you may be developing insulin resistance, or are concerned about your triglycerides, etc., please take it seriously. Unstable blood sugar is a significant threat to your health and happiness.
If you’d like more information or want to discuss addressing this, please reach out. I’m here to help.